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Track(s) taken from CDA67767

O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde gross, BWV622

circa 1713/7; Weimar; Orgelbüchlein
commissioned by Harriet Cohen and first published by Oxford University Press in A Bach Book for Harriet Cohen; first performed at the Queen's Hall on 17 October 1932

Jonathan Plowright (piano)
Recording details: September 2008
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 5 minutes 32 seconds

Cover artwork: Front illustration by Donya Claire James (b?)

Other recordings available for download

Angela Hewitt (piano)


'Jonathan Plowright plays everything with calm, unforced assurance, nicely balancing Bach style and 1930s period manners, and making light of all the left-hand skips needed to suggest Bach's organ pedal parts. An immaculate recording and Calum MacDonald's detailed notes enhance the disc's appeal' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Every so often a CD comes along that I simply can't stop playing. Here's one such example … glorious interpretations by Jonathan Plowright' (The Observer)

'There are some gems here … this is an invaluable addition to Hyperion's Bach Piano Transcriptions series and Plowright has done us an enormous service in resurrecting these transcriptions and in rendering them so eloquently' (International Record Review)
Like Arthur Bliss, Herbert Howells chose a chorale prelude from the Orgelbüchlein: O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde gross BWV622. Howells had been a passionate admirer of early music since his student days, and was no stranger to composing in an archaic style. (He would later produce an inspired blend of old and new in his keyboard suite Lambert’s Clavichord.) Unlike some of the other contributors Howells is lavish with dynamic, tempo and expression marks and phrasing. His very slow tempo—slowing further to an Adagiosissimo in the final bars—helps to sustain and clarify the intricate polyphonic web of Bach’s writing. Only towards the end, in the assai sostenuto ascent to the climax, does he do much to personalize the harmony.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2010

Comme Arthur Bliss, Herbert Howells opta pour un prélude-choral de l’Orgelbüchlein: O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde gross BWV622. Fervent admirateur de la musique ancienne depuis ses années estudiantines, Howells savait composer en style archaïque. (Sa suite pour clavier Lambert’s Clavichord sera un inspiré mélange d’ancien et de neuf.) À l’encontre de certains autres contributeurs, Howells est prodigue de dynamiques, de tempos, d’indications expressives et de phrasés. Son tempo lentissime—au point d’atteindre un Adagiosissimo dans les dernières mesures—concourt à soutenir et à clarifier le complexe réseau polyphonique de l’écriture bachienne. C’est seulement vers la fin, dans la montée assai sostenuto vers l’apogée, qu’il personnalise vraiment l’harmonie.

extrait des notes rédigées par Calum MacDonald © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Wie Arthur Bliss wählte auch Herbert Howells ein Choralvorspiel aus dem Orgelbüchlein, und zwar O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde gross BWV622. Howells war seit seiner Studienzeit ein glühender Bewunderer früher Musik, und das Komponieren in einem archaischen Stil fiel ihm nicht schwer. (Später schrieb er eine inspirierte Mischung aus Alt und Neu mit seiner Klaviersuite Lambert’s Clavichord.) Im Unterschied zu einigen anderen Beiträgen schwelgt seine Transkription in Dynamik, Tempo, Ausdruck und Phrasierung. Das sehr langsame Tempo, das in den letzten Takten noch weiter zum Adagiosissimo verlangsamt wird, trägt zur Erhaltung und Klärung des komplexen polyphonen Gewebes von Bachs Komposition bei. Erst gegen Ende des Stücks, im assai sostenuto auf dem Weg zum Höhepunkt, bringt er viel Harmonie aus eigener Feder ein.

aus dem Begleittext von Calum MacDonald © 2010
Deutsch: Henning Weber

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Bach Arrangements
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